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Most of us struggle with distraction every day: the familiar feeling that our attention is not quite where it should be. 

But what is distraction? 

In his lucid, timely book, Damon Young shows that distraction is more than too many stimuli, or too little attention. It is actually a matter of value – to be distracted is to be torn away from what is worthwhile in life. And for Young, what is most worthwhile is freedom: not simply rights or legal liberties, but the capacity to patiently, creatively craft one’s own life.


Distraction was published in the UK by Routledge (2010), in the US by McGill-Queens University Press (2010), and the Netherlands and Belgium as Afgeleid by Ten Have Uitgeverij (2014). It was also translated into Spanish as El Lado B de la Distraccion (Editiones B, 2011). 

Praise for the book:

"Best Books 2008" - Australian Financial Review, BOSS magazine 

"In his lucid and optimistic book, Damon Young encourages us to tame the distractions that are pointless, and nurture those that are good." - Financial Times (UK)

"Young communicates ideas with enthusiasm and a genuine emotional connection to his subjects, their triumphs and frailties. He is a talent." - The Australian

"This author makes 'dancing' with the philosophic and artistic masters...enjoyable even though one may be tone-deaf to the music and not know the steps." - Bookseller + Publisher 

"This warm and witty book does something wonderful: it brings the great ideas of philosophy into our lives. Young is a bright new voice." - John Armstrong, author of Civilization

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